What Causes Cramps When Running?

What Causes Cramps When Running?
Cramps, or side stitches, can ruin a run. They most often strike those new to running and can make a new runner want to quit altogether. But they can be overcome both before and during exercise.

Theories/Speculation

Cramps or side stitches are thought to be caused by a spasm of the diaphragm as you run. The ligaments involved attach to internal organs that move about as you run. It's this pulling motion that is thought to cause cramps.

Solution

To cure a side cramp experienced while running slow your pace and breathing rate. Take deep breaths. Stretch your arms upward over your head to lift your chest cavity.

Prevention

There are preventative measures that you can take before your run to lessen the probability of getting a cramp. Don't eat a big meal before you run, but drink appropriate liquids to maintain hydration. Warm-up effectively.

Considerations

General fitness plays a role in side cramps, too. Strive to improve your cardiovascular fitness to reduce the chance of getting side stitches.

Effects

Cramps do not cause any harm except for discomfort during running, slowing you down. With time and increased fitness they should happen less often and then maybe not at all.

Article Written By Tanya Wyr

Tanya Wyr has 12 years experience as a professional writer and editor both in print and online. She has written for major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Macy’s and Mervyns. Wyr has also edited college-level textbooks. Wyr earned a B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota in 1991.

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